The remarkable win of 12-year-old Nishi Uggalla, from Manchester, on Saturday night’s (2nd March) final of the Channel Four’s Child Genius competition was, no doubt, a proud moment for all Sri Lankans domiciled in UK. But it was much more because she made it ultra-special and won the hearts of everyone who watched the programme by an inspiring acceptance speech. Further, she was different from all the other contestants; whereas all the others were driven by their parents or relations, Nishi was the driving force herself.
Child Genius is an annual competition open to children from the age of eight to twelve years where they are challenged on spelling, maths, memory, vocabulary, geography and science. Of the hundreds auditioned, 19 came for the final cut and numbers were reduced daily through the week of the competition, to 6 on the final day. After the first round, the two getting the highest marks went head-to-head on a buzzer round, the first to get ten points being the Child Genius 2019.